Fareway and Hy Vee stores have released plans to provide hourly employees with bonuses and paid time off due to their increased workloads caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

According to Hy Vee’s press release, the store will be paying frontline employees 10 percent bonuses on their hours worked from March 16 to April 12. All bonuses will be paid out on April 17. Hy Vee is also prepared to offer new benefits to 80,000 employees as part of the COVID-19 response.

“Our employees are our most valuable asset, and we must do everything we can to support them and their families during this critical time,” Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman of the board, CEO and president, said in the press release. “We hope these new benefits will help lighten the load for our employees who are working around-the-clock to serve our customers in our stores.”

According to a Fareway press release, “The bonuses range up to $1,200 per employee, with a total investment of several million dollars to approximately 8,500 frontline employees. The Fareway corporate office will distribute the bonuses to qualifying hourly employees on Friday, April 3.”

Fareway, specifically, will give hourly employees over the age of 18 the option to take a cash bonus or paid time off to spend with their families. The amount of time off varies for each position. Part-time employees have the option of 20 hours paid time off. Full-time hourly employees have the option of 40 hours paid time off. Assistant managers and warehouse foremen will receive the option for 47 hours paid time off.

“I honestly think that our president and CEO says that best,” says Emily Toribio, spokeswoman for Fareway on why these bonuses are important. “Our frontline employees have worked tirelessly to serve our customers during these last several weeks, and we want to reward them for all their hard work and willingness to fulfill expectations of our customers now and into the future.”